From 2013 to 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers went 47 and 199. 47 and 199. On purpose. And yet Sam Hinkie, the team’s former general manager and resignation-letter virtuoso, brainwashed many of the 76ers’ fans into “trusting the process.” They did so because that process—intentionally losing as many games as possible in order to guarantee a high draft pick—was logical. Under the NBA’s current system, there’s arguably no better way to rebuild a team and establish it as a contender.
I can’t remember a more depressing Chicago Bulls season.
Derrick Rose blowing out his knee in 2012 was rough. And they’ve had worse records: after Michael Jordan retired in 1998, it took the Bulls four years to win 20 games in a season. But that version of the team was starting over with youth after a historic run of dominance—backsliding was to be expected. This year’s Bulls aspired to be championship contenders, and they missed the freaking playoffs.